Priests in Guinea beaten and held hostage over Ebola fears

Three Baptist Priests in Guinea were assaulted and held hostage yesterday by local villagers after being mistaken for campaigners promoting awareness about Ebola. They were visiting Kabac, a village in the sub-prefecture of Forécariah, to spray insecticide for the treatment of wells and pit latrines. Locals reportedly thought they were bringing Ebola and attacked the priests. After the assault they were held hostage and had their vehicle set ablaze.

The priests, who were from a church in Guinea were physically assaulted while visiting the village of Kabac on Tuesday, as locals suspected they were health workers who would expose inhabitants to the Ebola virus.

After this, the angry villagers went to the town council building, which they vandalised, he says. It too was set on fire, forcing local officials to flee. Local reports said one council worker was killed by the crowd but this could not be independently verified. There was further chaos when police arrested some of the residents and the crowd tried to prevent the detainees from being taken away, according to a reporter.

Such incidents have been noted by the World Health Organisation (WHO). A recent WHO report said “community resistance” is a “major barrier to control” in the countries Ebola has worst hit.

According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization, there have been 2,871 Ebola cases in Guinea and 1,876 deaths.

The worst hit countries in the outbreak have been Sierra Leone, with 10,340 cases and 3,145 deaths, and Liberia (8,478 cases and 3,605 deaths).


ebola, Guinea, priests